10 Shawnee Forest Frozen Waterfall Destinations
Are you looking for Shawnee Forest frozen waterfalls destinations?
The Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois is full of beautiful waterfall spots. During our frigid and cold winters, these waterfalls tend to freeze.
Whether you’re a fan of cold weather or not, seeing a frozen waterfall is just plain amazing.
But not every Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall is easy to get to.
There are easy ones, and then there are harder ones. But sometimes, the harder ones are some of, the better ones.
This article will look at 10 different Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall spots and how you can reach them.
Shawnee Forest Frozen Waterfall Safety
General waterfall safety is essential to note. Waterfalls make everything around them as slick as ice. But ice makes everything as slippery as it is.
You can baby step on a rock with water on it and likely be okay. But if you baby-step on a rock covered in ice, you’ll probably slip and fall.
When you see a Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall, you must put a little more safety and precaution in front of you than you usually do.
Falling can injure or kill you, as expected. But if it doesn’t kill you but injures you to a point to where you can’t get help, then you face other deadly conditions like frostbite, hypothermia, and simply freezing to death. This will especially be true if no one knows where you’re going and you have no cell phone signal.
Please put safety first no matter what and understand that people have died in the Shawnee National Forest from falls related to running and frozen waterfalls.
And always tell someone where you’re going and when to expect you back. Then, if something happens to you and you need help, that information can be what saves your life.
For more safety tips, I’ve written an entire article about Surviving the Shawnee National Forest.
Easy Shawnee Forest Frozen Waterfall Trails
These Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall destinations are easier to get to. By easy, I mean easier to “hike” to. But, on the other hand, driving to them could be problematic if weather conditions are not the best. In addition, most roads leading to the National Forest and state park areas are not prioritized. So, please exercise caution when visiting these areas during unfavorable weather conditions.
1 – Big Rocky Hollow Waterfall
Big Rocky Hollow is a waterfall located within Ferne Clyffe State Park.
The trail that leads to this waterfall is out and back and under a mile. It’s relatively flat and easy to hike. The waterfall is very tall and should be enjoyed from the ground. Hiking to the top is actually prohibited and would be insane during frozen conditions, to begin with.
If the roads are covered in ice or snow, the park has a habit of closing the road leading to this waterfall.
2 – Kinkaid Lake Spillway Waterfall
Kinkaid Lake Spillway is a wonderful Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall to visit.
The waterfall can be viewed directly from the parking lot. A trail goes up the waterfall, but it might be impossible to hike if the water is frozen. However, you can still get excellent views of this waterfall from the ground.
This used to be a party spot, but no alcohol is prohibited, and state police routinely patrol the area.
3 – Upper Burden Falls Waterfalls
The upper waterfall portion of Burden Falls is a beautiful Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall spot.
You can access the upper waterfalls from the parking lot. If the ground is not frozen, you can climb down the rocks and access the waterfalls at their exact position. There are multiple waterfalls along the top part of the bluff.
Please do not go past the safety wire that has been put in place to prevent additional falls and fatalities.
4 – Bork Falls Waterfall
Bork Falls is an excellent waterfall that can be accessed from the top or the bottom of the fall.
You drive over the creek that feeds this waterfall. I recommend going extremely slow if frozen. The road to this fall is typically rough, with a lot of erosion from the weather. However, the trail down to the base is short, and you can also see the top from a safe distance.
This remote section of Ferne Clyffe State Park is never closed off to the public.
Moderate Shawnee Forest Frozen Waterfall Trails
These Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall sites have moderately tricky trails. These are real hiking trails that might be harder to hike to get to the frozen waterfalls. Please remember to put safety first, as these trails can be hazardous. In addition, if there is ice or snow on the trail, it might be even harder to hike them.
5 – Pakentuck Waterfalls
Pakentuck waterfalls are true hidden gems of the Shawnee National Forest.
This waterfall area is an excellent Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall destination. But it’s harder to get to them because the trail is long and moderately difficult. Parking can also be difficult since it’s on the side of the road. Please don’t block the road since people do live on it.
You could get permission from Camp Ondessonk and park on their property if you wanted to.
6 – Dutchman Lake Waterfalls
Dutchman Lake is one of my favorite frozen waterfall spots to visit.
There are three main waterfall areas in the forested section of Dutchman Lake. However, there are even more waterfalls than that. These trails are rugged and require creek crossings. It will be difficult if the area is covered in snow and ice.
There are a lot of hidden gems within the Dutchman Lake area.
7 – Main Burden Falls Waterfall
The main waterfall at Burden Falls is one of the tallest Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall destinations out there.
The hike to this waterfall is difficult. There is no official trail, and the “current trail” created for it has no switchbacks. It’s straight down and steep. Take extra precautions. Do not attempt to climb down from the top area. This was closed off because people constantly fell (a few died from injuries).
Next to Cedar Falls at Camp Ondessonk, this is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Shawnee National Forest.
8 – Jackson Falls Waterfalls
Jackson Falls is a hiking, equestrian, camping, and climbing paradise, but it’s full of impressive waterfalls.
Jackson Falls has amazing waterfalls, whether they are running or frozen. The canyon is a little harder to reach because you have to climb down some rocks. But there are some amazing Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall locations throughout the Jackson Falls area.
Check out my Trail 049 Guide for a longer but safer alternative to Jackson Falls.
Hard Shawnee Forest Frozen Waterfall Trails
The following two Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall locations are hard to get to. They’re strenuous hikes and can be challenging to drive to if you don’t have the right vehicle. Next to being rugged and difficult, when frozen, these areas can be hazardous. Please use caution when visiting these sites.
9 – Eagle Falls Waterfall
Eagle Falls is a very scenic waterfall between Jackson Falls and Bell Smith Springs.
To reach this Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall, you’ll take the old section of the White Trail. Then, you must continue following the bluff line past the jumping spring. The trail is not maintained past that and becomes challenging, but the waterfall is impressive.
You can reach this waterfall by starting at Jackson Falls, but there is private property, so you need an excellent boundary app or map.
10 – Jackson Hole Waterfalls
Jackson Hole is my all-time favorite Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall spot.
There are numerous waterfalls at Jackson Hole and the nearby Hayes Canyon. Unfortunately, the waterfalls are hard to get to by vehicle and on foot. The road (Mustang Lane) is very rough and often requires a 4×4 car. In addition, the trail down to the main waterfall can be highly hazardous.
One could access this area by using the R2R trail from Cedar Grove Road to bypass Mustang Lane and the dangerous trails down to the waterfalls.
These are my top 10 Shawnee Forest frozen waterfall spots. Please remember to exercise safety when visiting these areas. People have fallen, and some have died. Don’t become a statistic in my next safety article. If you have enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like it, subscribe to my free monthly newsletter.
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Founder, Hiking with Shawn
Howdy folks! My name is Shawn Gossman and I founded Hiking with Shawn. I’m an avid hiker, cyclist and outdoorsman here in the Shawnee National Forest. I was born and raised in Southern Illinois and never want to leave. Click here to learn more about Shawn Gossman